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Statewide Endangered

2013 Ten Most Endangered Historic Places 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joel Wiant House 

151 W. Washington St., West Chicago 
(DuPage County)

 

Update

 

October 2013: West Chicago letting group try to save historic Wiant House. See article: Daily Herald, October 8, 2013.pdf

 

September 2013: The Wiant House has received a demolition reprieve. See article: My Suburban Life, September 19, 2013.pdf

 


 

The 1869 Wiant House represents the height of West Chicago’s history as a major railroad junction. Lived in for nearly a century by important local families, this unusual red brick Second Empire-style house is now threatened with demolition. Owned by the City, it lies on the edge of a 14-acre parcel slated for mixed-use redevelopment, including a large-scale city hall and police station. The West Chicago Historic Preservation Commission and residents want the City to make a stronger effort to protect this vibrant piece of local history and to insure its inclusion in any redevelopment plans.
 
Vacant since 2008, the City acquired the property in 2011 as part of its larger downtown redevelopment plan. Twice the City issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking proposals for the building’s redevelopment for commercial use, but no acceptable submittals were made. Some local advocates for the Wiant House believe no buyer or developer will come forward with offers to rehabilitate and reuse it until there is a better understanding of how the rest of the site will be redeveloped. Currently the City’s redevelopment plans for the overall 14-acre site are not well defined, although the site is to include a new city hall and police station. In 2007 the Wiant House was determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. If officially listed in the National Register, a future owner could utilize Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits.
 
Despite its RFQ process, in September of 2012 the City sought approval by the West Chicago Historic Preservation Commission for demolition of the house and was denied, triggering a public hearing. After granting several continuances, the Commission has set the public hearing for June 4th. In the event that the Commission again denies the City’s request to demolish the property, the City Council will have the opportunity to reverse its decision. In the meantime local advocates are seeking a possible buyer.
  

What You Can Do

 

Sign the petition and like the Facebook page in support of saving the Wiant House.

 

Additional Links

 

Save the Wiant House

Wiant House Documentary, created by a young preservationist.

Engineer pegs Wiant House repairs at $1 million
Chicago Tribune, June 10, 2013

Chicago Tribune, July 5, 2013

My Suburban Life, July 25, 2013

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

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tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1971 and is the state's leading voice for historic preservation.